I'm the Grinch who stole Halloween.
Look, I've got nothing against the whole Halloween thing, just as long as it stays in its rightful place. That is, not here, in Australia. Really, I've got nothing particularly against people having parties for their kids where everyone dresses up and eats chocolates and lollies but when kids start roaming the streets to "trick or treat" on unsuspecting neighbourhood doors and ask for "candy" and start spelling words like neighbourhood without the "u" well that's when this Granny Clampett will be sitting out on the front verandah with her slingshot just to indicate to the youngsters that any running dog of Yankee capitalist imperialism is NOT welcome at this house.
Last night as I unlocked our spare bedroom window I heard a knock from the window across the fence. Two little kids live next door to us: Dr Bellows and Old Moon Face. It was Bellows knocking to say hello and to inform me, in tones of great injustice, that he and Moon Face must be the only kids in the whole street who weren't celebrating Halloween. Tempted as I was to launch into a rant about cultural vandalism, I took pity on the young child's fragile eggshell mind and said something a bit vaguer and then shuffled off with my nicotine stained teeth and egg-stained dressing gown, shaking my head and muttering all the while.
Anyway, today is the first Tuesday in November and that means Melbourne Cup. I've drawn Portland Singa in the sweeps. Such is my record with the nags that I am in no doubt that those who watch closely at the end of the race will see Portland Singa being dragged off to the knacker's yard. Surely its owners deserve that fate for their atrocious spelling. And if you're an Australian living in far flung locales, for heaven's sake, don't expect your boss to give a rat's about our little traditions.
*Happy birthday to our friend Clarinet from me & The Burp.